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From Securities Regulation Daily, May 3, 2013

White Speaks at ICI’s Annual Meeting About Global Regulation

By Jacquelyn Lumb

In remarks to the Investment Company Institute, Chair Mary Jo White said the SEC wants to preserve the economic benefits of money market funds while addressing potential redemption pressures and their susceptibility to runs. The commissioners and staff are actively engaged in discussions toward an appropriate and balanced proposal for money market fund reform in the near future, she said. White’s remarks focused on regulating in a global financial system and she hopes the money market fund reform proposal is one that can be shared with other regulators.

White noted that in the mere three weeks that she has served as chair, she has attended meetings with the Secretary of the Treasury and the central bank heads and regulatory chiefs from seven countries. She has been briefed for a meeting of the Financial Stability Board and a London meeting of the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation Monitoring Board.

White said she also reviewed, shaped and voted on the proposal for regulating cross-border derivatives transactions, and she met with the vice chair of the Japan Financial Services Agency and the chair of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, who is also chair of the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

White talked about the SEC’s cross-border working group which addresses the risks associated with U.S. issuers whose primary operations are overseas. Some foreign-based issuers take advantage of their remote locations to engage in fraud or other securities violations, she said, which has been a particular problem with issuers operating in the People’s Republic of China. The SEC has brought numerous cases against China-based issuers involving market manipulation, accounting and disclosure violations, and auditor misconduct, among other charges.

White reported that the enforcement of the Corrupt Foreign Practices Act will continue to be a priority for the SEC. The SEC and the Department of Justice published a guide to help companies avoid FCPA violations. The other side of education is deterrence, she said, which can mean strong enforcement actions with disgorgement and penalties or the benefits that come from cooperation. She cited the recent non-prosecution agreement with Ralph Lauren Corporation on the basis of its cooperation with the SEC.

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